Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli


University of California, Berkeley

From Transistors to Swarm Systems: The Evolution of Design Methods and Tools in the last 40 Years

Giovan Battista Vico, a philosopher and historian who lived across the XVII and XVIII centuries, was the first to note in his masterpiece “Scienza Nuova” (New Science) that the history of man and his endeavors follow a cyclical pattern. Economies, as well as the power of nations, have exhibited a clear and cyclical behavior. Electronic Design Automation (EDA) has not escaped this fundamental law. EDA started in the late 1960s when large companies such as IBM and Bell Laboratories were developing new products based on Integrated Circuit technology. The ICs of the time had only a few tens of transistors but the design costs were raising and the need to obtain circuit right the first time became clear. The scientific content of tools and methods for ICs ranged from physics to mathematics in a mix that is rare to see in any other engineering field. EDA technology advances have oscillated between verification and synthesis, the perception in the mind of the electronic design community of EDA has been rising and falling in a regular pattern, EDA companies have risen and declined, the consideration of the financial community for EDA has been periodically increasing and decreasing, and the algorithms used in EDA have swung from general purpose techniques borrowed from mathematics, computer science, operation research, and artificial intelligence, to ad hoc techniques that leverage the nature of the specific design problem to be solved. Prof. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli will show that progress is achieved when new methodologies crystallize, with new tools and techniques acting as catalysts, that the construction of layers of abstraction are the steps that have helped us reach new heights. His take in this talk is that the great success of Electronic Design Automation to enable the design of chips with more than 1 Billion transistors over a span of 40 years can be replicated in other sectors including traditional industries such as construction, and novel sectors such as synthetic biology, if its essential elements are distilled appropriately. He will show how they are approaching these extensions and what challenges they are facing. Throughout the talk, Prof. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli will intersperse considerations about his scientific and industrial journey from a theory-oriented professor to an “entrepreneur”. Where: Zoom session, link will be provided after the registration Registration:

Date: Tue 24 Nov 2020

Start Time: 11:00

End Time: 12:00

ZOOM Meeting | Electrical Eng. Building